Dave Attell Talks Cigarettes, Alcohol, Old-School Porno, Filthy Comedy, and More

Categories: Interviews
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Dave Attell
Comedian Dave Attell has always been a man of many vices. The 46-year-old stand-up comic's a longtime smoker, an infamous party monster, a former drinker, and a noted connoisseur of pornography.

His bad habits have helped fuel both his ribald routines -- which usually deal with all the mishaps that can result from both drinking and partying -- and his comedy career. He hosted the popular Insomniac TV show on Comedy Central for four seasons, which saw him party until the wee hours in cities across the country.

Attell's vices are continuing to keep his career going, as he's parlayed his love of pornography (not to mention his substantial tape collection) into his new Showtime program Dave's Old Porn, where he pokes fun at vintage skin flicks alongside comedians like Chelsea Handler and Margaret Cho.

Jackalope Ranch recently spoke with Attell about his new show, as well as his gig this weekend at Stand Up Live and how his comedy hasn't changed despite the fact he's given up drinking.

Do you still party and drink as much since Insomniac went off the air??
I don't drink anymore, but I smoke and drink a ton of coffee. I'm old now, so I had to pick between one or the other, and cigarettes won. Cigarettes are very difficult. People hate cigarettes. They love pot. So I guess I picked the wrong smoke.

When and why did you give up drinking?
I was shitting blood. Short answer. The long answer: I'm just old and pathetic. When I was doing the old Insomniac show it was a great time. Really drinking and really traveling. And now there's a million reality show out there just like it.

Do you have any favorites?
I have to say, you can't get much better than the Basketball Wives. Then you get to see high art. And with this lockout, I think that's as close as we're going to get to actual basketball.

Your comedy has been about all the strange situations that result from a drinking or partying, like your bit about having sex with a pumpkin. Are these jokes based on actual situations or are they products of a twisted imagination?
I'm a really imaginative guy, so I always go with what I think would be funnier as opposed to my sad boring life. Most of the jokes are really just shockingly inappropriate. But yeah, I really did have sex with a pumpkin, on a dare with myself. I did it to put fear into the melons of the world now that cantaloupe is a killer.

Has your comedy changed since you've given up booze?
I still do some of it, mostly for the fans of the Insomniac show. The rest of it is just lazy joke writing. Some of it is because I feel as more politically correct people get, the more, as a comic, you want to push the envelope and its getting harder and harder to do inappropriate, dirty, filthy funny jokes. People are more judgmental now of jokes, but its just a joke. As a comic it just makes you want to shock people and they'll laugh and say, "Wow, I can't believe he went there."

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Stand Up Live

50 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ

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